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Why the new era of artificial intelligence inspires this startup founder – GeekWire


Startup founder and engineer Kirill Zubovsky used OpenAI’s GPT-3 to create a business and domain name generator. (Photo courtesy Kirill Zubovsky.)

After calling up the website Smartynames.com this week, I typed in a description for a business idea: “Drone photography business in the greater Seattle area.

Like lots of people, I’ve been through the agonizing process of brainstorming business and project names, and trying to find appropriate — and available — web domains to match. It can take days or weeks to figure out, especially when you’ve got other people taking part, with their own ideas and subjective preferences.

So it was fascinating when, a few seconds later, Smartynames produced a list of available domains that could work. They ranged from the snappy but generic AeroPicsSeattle.com, to the way-too-long SkyTechImagingSeattle.com.

In the middle of the list, I found my favorite: UpAboveSeattle.com.

After a few clicks and a modest registration fee, that domain was mine.

Smartynames is the brainchild of Kirill Zubovsky, an engineer, startup founder, and tech consultant. He created the domain and business name finder using tools including the GPT-3 natural language processing technology from ChatGPT maker OpenAI, which this week announced a new investment from its partner Microsoft.

Smartynames generates a list of available domain names from free-form descriptions of businesses and projects. Zubovsky gets referral fees from domain registrars when people buy domains that they find on the site.

After launching in early December with a post on Hacker News, Smartynames has generated suggestions for more than 1 million domain names, Zubovsky said in a blog post this week. He has already expanded beyond traditional dot-com domains, and he’s planning a larger suite of AI tools to help businesses get online.

It’s a prime example of the creative energy that some startup leaders and tech veterans believe generative AI will unlock for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Zubovsky is one of those believers.

“Jeff Bezos didn’t invent the internet, but he built a massively successful company because he understood how to wield the power of the internet. And that’s where I think AI is going,” he says. “Multiple people will build massive companies that will just change the way we do things using this tech. So yes, it is an inflection point.”

On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, Zubovsky shares his experience with AI and Smartynames over the past couple of months, offers his advice for incorporating generative AI into business and daily life, and talks about where he thinks the technology could take us next.

Listen above, or subscribe to GeekWire in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

After talking with Zubovsky, I felt compelled to try to use AI to help with this post.

I started by asking ChatGPT, “Write a story about an entrepreneur using GPT-3 to suggest domain names for businesses in the style of GeekWire’s most-read stories.” ChatGPT’s initial take used a fictitious name, since I didn’t think to give it one, but when I followed up by providing Zubovsky’s name, this is what it produced:

Kirill Zubovsky, an entrepreneur with a passion for technology and a keen eye for business opportunities, was always on the lookout for the next big thing. When he first heard about GPT-3, the cutting-edge artificial intelligence tool developed by OpenAI, he knew he had to explore its potential for his business.

With years of experience in the tech industry and a desire to help small businesses succeed, Kirill saw the potential in GPT-3’s ability to understand and generate human language. He knew that this technology could be a game-changer for businesses looking to establish their online presence.

Determined to put GPT-3 to the test, Kirill set out to create a new service that would use GPT-3 to suggest domain names for businesses. He understood that choosing the right domain name was crucial for any business looking to establish itself online, and he believed that GPT-3’s advanced language skills could help businesses find the perfect name for their website.

To get started, Kirill fed GPT-3 a list of keywords and phrases related to different industries, from retail to healthcare to finance. He also provided GPT-3 with a list of popular domain name extensions, like .com and .net, to ensure that the suggested names would be available for purchase.

With GPT-3’s help, Kirill was able to quickly generate a list of potential domain names for businesses in a variety of industries. He was impressed by the quality of the suggestions and the speed with which GPT-3 was able to produce them.

Kirill’s new service quickly gained popularity among businesses looking to establish their online presence. His GPT-3-generated domain names were creative, memorable, and perfectly tailored to the specific needs of each business.

Thanks to GPT-3, Kirill’s business helped countless businesses establish their online presence and succeed in the digital age. And with GPT-3’s continued development, Kirill knew that the possibilities for his business were endless. He became a respected expert in the field of AI-assisted domain name generation and his story was featured in GeekWire’s most-read stories. Kirill’s innovative use of GPT-3 opened a new world of opportunities for small businesses, and he was proud to have played a part in their success.

There are several word choices in there that I wouldn’t use, particularly the adjectives, but you can see how someone could use this for inspiration and ideas, and possibly more, when writing any type of content. (Zubovsky also suggested Jasper, which is built on ChatGPT, as another way to get a sense for the potential of AI.)

From there, I uploaded the actual audio of this episode to another service, SwellAI, which was one of several tools that I found with a web search for “AI podcast summary.” It produced this synopsis.

This podcast features Kirill Zubovsky, a former startup founder and consultant, who is now working with AI to create applications. He talks about his journey over the past few months with AI, his experience with generative AI and GPT-3, and the application of AI he has been working on, Smarty Names, a domain and business name finder. He also talks about his experience living in a van with his two kids and two pets and his thoughts on the current app store moment.

Wow! That was good enough that I used it in the description of the show, with minor edits, and a disclaimer.

But the ultimate test was the headline. Here’s my full exchange with ChatGPT on that:

Todd Bishop: Write a headline for a GeekWire story about an entrepreneur using OpenAi’s GTP-3 technology to recommend domain names for businesses. Include a pun if possible.

“OpenAI’s GPT-3 gives entrepreneurs a ‘domain’ over naming their business”

TB: generate another please

“GPT-3 suggests the perfect ‘domain’ for your business, thanks to this entrepreneur’s innovation”

TB: try again

“Entrepreneur uses GPT-3 to ‘name’ their way to the top with AI-powered domain suggestions”

TB: Drop the pun.

“Entrepreneur uses GPT-3 to generate unique and effective domain name suggestions for businesses”

TB: Make it more compelling for a human reader.

“Revolutionary Entrepreneur taps into OpenAI’s GPT-3 to create winning domain names for businesses”

TB: Less promotional.

“Entrepreneur employs OpenAI’s GPT-3 technology to generate creative domain name suggestions for businesses”

TB: Try a pun again.

“GPT-3 helps entrepreneurs ‘name’ their way to success with AI-generated domain suggestions”

TB: Make it a play on words using ‘domain’

“GPT-3 takes the ‘domain’ out of naming: Entrepreneur uses AI to generate perfect business names”

TB: closer. try again.

“GPT-3 ‘domains’ the naming game: Entrepreneur uses AI to generate unique and effective business names”

TB: one more time.

“Entrepreneur ‘domains’ the competition with GPT-3 generated business names”

TB: make it something that people will click.

“Unlock the Power of GPT-3: Entrepreneur uses AI to Generate Winning Business Names that Stand Out”

TB: Make it more newsy.

“GPT-3 Technology Disrupts Business Naming: Entrepreneur’s AI-Generated Domain Suggestions Making Waves”

TB: Try a pun again.

“GPT-3 finds the ‘domain’ in naming: Entrepreneur uses AI to create unique and effective business names”

TB: The name of the site is SmartyNames.

“SmartyNames: Entrepreneur uses GPT-3 to revolutionize business naming with AI-generated domain suggestions”

Wow, that was a lot of back-and-forth, some of it my fault, and ultimately I wasn’t happy with any of these headlines, for various reasons that would be interesting to discuss and debate in a journalism workshop. While the last one is generally on the mark, for example, I wouldn’t use revolutionize, which would be better for a company blog post.

One subtle victory for AI in that thread: I noticed later that I misspelled GPT-3 in my initial request, and ChatGPT was smart enough to overlook my typo and respond as if I’d gotten it right.

Ultimately, I decided to this by GeekWire’s resident headline maestro, my colleague Kurt Schlosser, who came up with, “Putting the AI in domain.”

Very clever, maybe a little too subtle, but a clear victory for humankind — or at least a demonstration of an ongoing human advantage in complex creative endeavors. I went with a variation of Kurt’s suggestion that reason, followed by language of my own that spoke to the bigger story behind Zubovsky’s domain search site.

See the resulting headline at the top of this story. Did I make the right call? Email me at [email protected] with your critique of my human judgment, or to share any tools or scenarios for generative AI that you’re finding useful.

Audio editing and production by Curt Milton.


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